Max Verstappen won the prestigious BBC World Sport Star award at the Sports Personality of the Year ceremony on Sunday.
The most recent Formula 1 world champion had been nominated alongside some of the best sportsmen of 2021 after winning the title in Abu Dhabi a week ago.
Mexican boxing legend Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, world number 1 men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic, Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah and American footballer Tom Brady, who won his seventh Super Bowl earlier in the year, were also nominated.
However, they were beaten for the prize in a public vote by Irish jockey Rachael Blackmore, who became the first female rider to win the Grand National in horse racing at Aintree, riding Minella Times to victory in a sporting moment. historical.
Previous World Sport Star (formerly Overseas Sports Personality of the Year) winners include figures such as Muhammad Ali, Pele, Martina Navratilova and Tiger Woods – Sebastian Vettel and Niki Lauda being the only Formula 1 drivers to have been honored in the past.
Speaking at the event, former footballer and now TV presenter Gary Lineker couldn’t resist a blow to Formula 1 as a whole following the unfolding of events in Abu Dhabi.
He joked, âIt was the most incredible end of a season that had absolutely everything.
“Other than, maybe, a good last lap.”
Lewis Hamilton was officially knighted by the Prince of Wales last week, but missed a nomination for overall Sports Personality of the Year this year.
Teenage tennis sensation Emma Raducanu, herself a huge Formula 1 fan, won the famous trophy this year, after raising eyebrows with a run to the fourth round of Wimbledon before shocking the sports world by winning the US Open – winning one of sport’s biggest prizes in its very first tournament final.
Hamilton has twice won Sports Personality of the Year in the past, winning the award in 2014 (becoming the first Formula One driver to win the award since Damon Hill in 1996) and 2020, and finished second in the four-way vote. other occasions.